I was offered a much better job position at another company and I accepted it. This doesn't imply a problem per se, but my current company is rather small and another worker, who was on the same team as me, left his position this week.

This situation would leave the company and the projects we work on with serious delays as my boss will have to try to replace our positions. How do I tell him that I'm planning to leave when my co-worker has also left recently? According to my contract, I am allowed to leave in 15 days.

EDIT: Thank you for your answers. I know that I have the right to quit if I notify on time. As @PagMax said, my question is about how to do that in a friendly manner, but I have a few more ideas now after reading your answers.

  • 12
    Please note that OP is not asking whether (s)he can quit, simply how best to break the news to the boss. (IMO without knowing a lot more about the specific relationships etc. it'll be hard to answer this in any meaningful way, and this might do better over at interpersonal)
    – A C
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 19:57
  • 5
    ALSO: read your own contract beforehand (!!!) You want to quit in 15 days, IS THAT ALLOWED in your contract? Or is the mandatory anouncement time 30 days ? [This varies hugely from one industry to another, so you might not be able to leave in 15 days, without some serious hassle.
    – Hobbamok
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 9:30
  • Thanks for the remark but i did read my contract, i can quit in 15 days.
    – user101611
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 9:43
  • Tell them as soon as possible (if you want to be safe then immediately after you get your new contract, if you are a risk taker or confident that you could accept immediate lay off you can also tell them if you start to think about it). And make sure to decide for yourself before what kind of negotiation you would accept (like staying longer or accepting a raise or offering a consulting contract).
    – eckes
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 20:19

8 Answers 8


Your employment is not dependent on others' employment (or resignation). Period.

If you chose to leave, you are free to, provided you fulfill the requirements as mentioned in the contract regarding the exit process.

  • If the organization has a backup plan, they will work according to that. If they don't have one: not your problem.

  • If they feel they cannot let you go (yet), they will ask you for a negotiation. However, if you're determined to leave, you are free to.

Book a meeting room, send a meeting invite and have the discussion - there's no way or reason to try to "sugarcoat" it.

  • 23
    @DonBranson Seems pretty standard to me. I guess it depends on your office layout, but in an open office like mine, I would definitely have this conversation in a private room.
    – user91988
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 16:53
  • 8
    To me, the important part of the meeting room is the privacy, not the formality. Having it in a public or eavesdropping-prone place means that neither you or your manager can control how word spreads around the office, and may hinder your (or their) ability to negotiate or counter-offer. If you'd rather have that conversation on a walk or in a coffeeshop (or if your manager has free time and an office with four walls), it's probably less necessary. Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 18:05
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    +1, My coworker left the company about a year ago. I was left doing the duties of our team (was 2, now 1). I recently left my position for a promotion in another department. Did I feel bad about leaving them without a team? For about 3 seconds. They did nothing to find a replacement for a year. My (your) new job is not dependent on others' employment.
    – B540Glenn
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 19:50
  • 2
    If a boss tries to use emotion and get you to stay, it is instantly a red flag. That means your boss is actually not given the resources to do his job, and you probably are not either.
    – Nelson
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 0:37
  • 3
    I'd disagree with "there's no ... reason to try to sugarcoat it." You can be firm, but also express the fact that you know the timing is unfortunate and that you'd started the process before the other person quit -- e.g., the two aren't related. Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 17:11

While others are addressing the right point that it is not your problem, I think your original question is not addressed:

How do I tell him that I plan to leave although my co-worker left recently?

Tell him in a face-to-face discussion. Say something like this (with your own variation!)

Hey boss, something has changed on my personal front and I would have to seek career outside this company. I know colleague Joe left earlier this week and I am sorry if this would put your projects on an extremely tight schedule. I hope it works out well for all of us.

Then offer him how you can pitch-in to make transition smoother. While showing your concern for your current company is "not your problem" if you are leaving, it is a great gesture to ensure you leave on good terms.

  • 50
    I think it's good to make clear that you aren't leaving because the other coworker left and this is just a coincidence.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 15:18

Welcome to the Workplace.

It's not your problem or fault that someone else has left the company. If you made a decision and you are sure about that, you need to talk to your manager and say you'll leave. 15-10 days is a good time for them to know so they can organize things better. Also, see if your contract say something about how much time you have to give notice in order to quit.

I know the situation is not the best, and you may feel guilty, but this is normal, these things happens and a company must be prepared.


I hope you know the difference between "quitting", "leaving" and "giving notice".

If you are in the USA, you are expected to give two weeks notice, in the EU usually more.

So if you want to stop working at this place 15 days from now, you should go to your boss now and tell him "Sorry boss, but I want to leave, and my last day will be the 5th of April" (typing this March 20th). And then you give him the same in writing.

  • 5
    Saying that 2 weeks notice is expected is a little assertive. In the US, two weeks notice is suggested, but not a requirement, unless you have a contract that makes it so. Many people will make the common faux pas of expecting it, but it's not always going to be an option. If at all possible the OP should make it an option, because we rarely want to burn bridges with something like this. Not giving 2 weeks when you have the time is also considered a faux pas, if not worse, so it's just good advice to let the employer know as soon as possible, even if it's more than 2 weeks. Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 1:03
  • 3
    @computercarguy I might add that a lot of USA companies are pretty nasty about the process and will take you right out the door the moment you announce your resignation. You may or may not get severance, but at least be sure all your personal property is gone before you announce. Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 15:48
  • @CarlWitthoft, I was going to get into that, but then I would have had to start another comment. You are correct about that, but it says more about them as a company if they do it than you as the employee. Really all they are doing is making it a hostile work environment and less likely for people to put in the 2 weeks they probably still expect. Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 17:24

I would say exactly what top answers are stating here, until I actually entered into this situation myself.

To someone not in this situation it looks like a simple decision between our interest's vs company interests. However this gets complicated when one of following is true,

  • You care about your future relationship with your manager, in case you want to come back to company, so don't want to burn any bridges.

  • You care about company too e.g. if it's organization making world a better place e.g. police department or a hospital or so.

It's really easy to decide to go 100% in favour of your own interests if you don't care about company e.g. manager had been unfair to you, so giving them standard notice sounds like the best.

I think at end your own interests always wins because you don't know how your manager or company will respond to your (good and not so good news). By good news I meant you give them more then standard notice and not so good for which you are leaving after a period.

I think you could frame it in this way...

I love (choose correct word as how strong you feel) working at place X with person1, person2 and maybe person3 or a group, however I was approched for postion Y by a recruitment agent or whatever the situation was, which I believe is in my best interests. I wish I could had stayed more but I made a very difficult decision to grap the opportunity I am getting, hence I will be leaving on date ABC...


All of this depends on you and your morals. You are working for money, you have family to feed, you have bills to pay, you can't work for free just because there's a need for you in the company or because the boss is a nice person.

You are free to quit whenever you want and no one has the right to object as long as your contract allows it and you have secured another position (quitting before finding another job may easily backfire against you)

So, don't think too much about it, the company will sure try to recruit others to replace you, many people are looking for jobs, so instead of choosing one candidate, they'll simply choose two, I mean it's their company, they should know how to manage it and how to deal with situation like these even if everyone quit at the same time.

Wish you good luck

  • 5
    I agree with your answer, except for the usage of "morals" in the text, as OP is not going nowhere near a gray zone in his intended course. He should not bear the burden for something that is not his duty nor responsibility to do, that is manage the business and have contingency plans. Of course, this does not mean that some subjective judgement may occur - in a company I worked for, my superior did a lot of concessions when I needed, so years later I gave them a 2-month notice, trained my replacement and put myself available to help afterwards, if needed. Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 14:26
  • 1
    @QuaestorLucem I think I just did a mistake using words here. By moral I mean what do you yourself feel, it's not an obligation or related to ethics or something, if you don't care what happens next then feel free because it's not your duty to do something about this and it's up to the manager, but in case you feel bad about it and you wanted to do something before you leave (e.g : You, training your replacement ... ) then you are free. My point is, you have a some choices that no one can ever blame you for choosing one of them and it's up to you what to do.
    – Noblesse
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 14:58
  • "in case you feel bad about it and you wanted to do something before you leave (e.g: You, training your replacement ... ) then you are free" -- Training your replacement shouldn't have anything to do with you feeling bad or not. In my experience this mostly boils down to what the supervisor deems important, finishing some project or training the new guy. You usually don't decide what you do with your time. Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 15:45

Be open about things. Tell them your plans and tell them your concerns. Try to work with them to provide the best solution for your current employer to continue their product and make sure you keep your own interest in mind. You already accepted that other job, which means you didn’t leave a lot of options open. Suggest you’re willing to help, to train someone to that will take over your job, and then make the move. No need to burn bridges. Treat other how you want to be treated if you where in their shoes.


Haven't you seen office space?

Why bother handing in a resignation when you could just get yourself fired?! Buy a bag of donuts, put on some chill music and Homer Simson your way through the day. If anybody asks what the hell you're up to, tell them the apocalypse is coming in 15 days, or that you are part of a global communist IT strike, and that they should stop working too.

If you are not fired in a day, start playing video games, and/or regularly assault coworkers with nerf guns. You can also order pizza or other foods to the office, but not show up when the courrier arrives. If you are STILL not fired after a week, congratulations, you hit jackpot. Just keep your current job and slack on until retirement.

  • 7
    This is bad advice. While the OP will probably be fired, this story will follow them to their next employer. It will probably kill their career. Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 8:47
  • 3
    This doesn't even goes with ethics, why would you try to disrespect someone just because you're leaving ? Especially if his boss was good to him. When you leave a place, make sure you leave while people are having good impressions about you. Another thing don't forget that the world isi connected now, one comment from his old boss or if he has some friends in other companies that he can tell about this behaviour is enough to destroy his whole carreer and no one will want to recruit him. Think wisely before you try something like this
    – Noblesse
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 8:59
  • 1
    This is funny, but I really hope you're just trolling.
    – user22159
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 11:19

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